Liverpool's centre for the contemporary arts

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Bluecoat is currently going through a period of reorganisation. Understandably, there will be concerns and questions that will arise whilst the process is underway. In an attempt to provide answers to some of the most common queries, we have addressed some of the most frequently asked questions below.

If you wish to discuss any of these matters further, you can do so by contacting Mary Cloake, Chief Executive at

For media enquiries please contact Carly Townsend on 0151 702 5324.


Questions regarding proposed front of house reorganisation at Bluecoat:

How much money will be saved by this exercise?

This is not a cost-cutting exercise. The current economic climate may be a challenge for publicly-funded organisations such as Bluecoat but we still believe that, through careful management, we can ensure that the Bluecoat remains a vibrant and stimulating place for visitors and employees alike.

How many paid weekly working hours will be lost between the 18 positions and the 12?

Every week is different at Bluecoat because of the many events and activities that happen here as well as our day to day operation. Based on our day to day operations, on average over the year 2 working hours per week will be lost.

Will volunteers be used to make up the shortfall?

No. Our fantastic volunteers will continue, as they have done for decades, to support our work, but no paid roles will be replaced with voluntary ones.

Will staff now be paid the living wage?

As a publicly funded organisation, sadly we are unable to pay staff the living wage they thoroughly deserve, but we are raising the starting salary in recognition of our support of, and commitment to move towards, the living wage.

Why couldn’t you make these changes without having to make redundancies?

Redundancies are never desirable, but we believe that in order for staff to provide a memorable experience for our visitors, a new, more flexible role is required. This new role will allow staff to assist visitors directly with their many varied enquiries, rather than referring them to more relevant members of staff. If our proposals go ahead, this would mean making existing roles redundant in order to make way for the new role.

How many new volunteer roles have been created across front of house in the past 12 months?

No new roles have been created. Since 2008 we have had between 20 and 100 active volunteers at any one time. Numbers have depended on several factors including recruitment cycle and specific programmes (such as festivals) that attract volunteers for shorter periods.

Why were affected staff not involved in this decision or asked to put forward any alternative suggestions or ideas?

January 28th marked the start of the consultation period during which we will be asking affected staff to make alternative suggestions.

How are the affected members of staff being supported?

We know that this is a worrying time for a number of staff members, and we are keen to offer as much support as possible. Our Front of House Manager will be on hand to offer directly support to those concerned on a daily basis, and we are also working with Liverpool Community College to provide practical assistance for those employees seeking other employment.

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Bluecoat is Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, the oldest in the UK. Our landmark building, located in the ...

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